So you just have been involved in an accident? Was it your fault? How do you know? Illinois is a modified comparative negligence state, so fault matters.
You have to document as much information as you possibly can. Your cell phone is your friend; take pictures, record your thoughts in audio, get statements if you can, and gather as much information as possible, because tomorrow this will all be a blur.
Don’t Be A Victim
After an accident, there’s a good chance an insurance adjuster will contact you. He or she will likely say or do things under the pretense of trying to help you, but be aware they are really meant to get you to settle your claim for little or no money and without involving a lawyer.
Here are some tactics that adjusters use on accident victims with the goal to lower payouts. Knowing about them can help you avoid being a victim.
* Adjusters try to convince you that a lawyer won’t help you, saying that the adjuster will get you the best settlement. Don’t be tricked by this! Adjusters work for the insurer, not you, and their goal is to pay you as little as possible so the insurance company boosts its profits. Your own lawyer is truly on your side after an accident and will work to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
* Stalling. Some accident victims first try handling their claim alone to see if they’ll get a good offer from the insurance company. The adjuster will stall, and meanwhile, valuable time is being lost. It’s important to get your lawyer involved early, when evidence is fresh and witnesses’ memories are strong. Also, if you wait too long to make your claim, the deadline to make claims may expire.
* Trying to get statements from you before you’ve hired a lawyer. Anything you say can be used against you, and adjusters are good at getting accident victims to say things that hurt their case. Avoid this by consulting your lawyer before giving any statement.
* Trying to get you to sign things that hurt your case. This can include authorizations that let the insurance company get all your medical records (and then claim the accident wasn’t the cause of your injuries), and a release of all claims for a small sum of money, which prevents you from getting the maximum compensation. To avoid problems, don’t sign anything unless your lawyer tells you that it’s okay to sign.
These are just some of the tactics insurance adjusters can use to lower accident payouts. To avoid being victimized by them, call your lawyer promptly after an accident. Your lawyer will deal with the insurance company for you, helping you receive the maximum compensation.
You Need Great Legal Advice…
You need someone who is on your side and knows exactly what they’re doing. Barry R. Rabovsky only represents injured individuals and their families. With more than 29 years of experience as a personal injury attorney in the Chicago metropolitan area, he is well known and highly regarded. He is an aggressive, skilled trial lawyer with a reputation for excellence that makes his retention a key to success in complex, adversarial personal injury proceedings. Contact Barry today toll-free at (800) 822-4321 for a free, no-obligation consultation.